Cleaning up after a storm? Here are some tips from a doctor at Mayo Clinic

As the water recedes and people continue assessing the damage to their homes in the aftermath of Ian, they may try to move it themselves. But you always want to do it safely so as to avoid serious injuries. News4JAX spoke with an emergency room physician who talks about common injuries with this type of work.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the water recedes and people continue assessing the damage to their homes in the aftermath of Ian, they may try to move it themselves. But you always want to do it safely so as to avoid serious injuries.

News4JAX spoke with an emergency room physician who talks about common injuries with this type of work.

Dr. Brittany Beal with the Mayo Clinic joined News4JAX on The Morning Show on Sunday and had tips on keeping yourself safe.

“If the trees are blowing in the wind, and you see branches on the ground. I would advise being very careful if you’re going to venture outside. And if you hear thunder, a good rule of thumb is to stay inside. Lightning can strike up to 25 miles outside of the storm cloud,” Beal said.

Dr. Beal also said you should never bite off more than you can chew. So here’s what that means.

  • Don’t use heavy equipment, like chainsaws, if you’ve never used it before
  • Have someone around who has used it before
  • Don’t stand in flood water, if you don’t have to. Flood water can contain debris, human and animal waste, and chemicals

“If you have to be in it, make sure you use soap and water when you get out of the water. And if you have any wounds, make sure those are covered. As far as, put bandaids, make sure they’re very clean when you get out of the water,” Beal said.

Dr. Beal said if you’re going to remove debris, you should wear gloves and safety goggles. She says far too often, people come into the emergency room with injuries from things blowing into their eyes.

And if you think you may have an infection, or if you’ve been shocked by something, Dr. Beal said don’t wait to go to the ER.

She also says if you use a generator while cleanup is still going on follow the directions to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Some of the signs of that are headache and drowsiness. So if yo’re feeling any of those symptoms, I would head to the emergency,” Beal said.

And if you have any doubts at all, leave it to the professionals.


About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.